Job 22 (Listen)
22:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
2 “Can a man be profitable to God?
Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.
3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are in the right,
or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?
4 Is it for your fear of him that he reproves you
and enters into judgment with you?
5 Is not your evil abundant?
There is no end to your iniquities.
6 For you have exacted pledges of your brothers for nothing
and stripped the naked of their clothing.
7 You have given no water to the weary to drink,
and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
8 The man with power possessed the land,
and the favored man lived in it.
9 You have sent widows away empty,
and the arms of the fatherless were crushed.
10 Therefore snares are all around you,
and sudden terror overwhelms you,
11 or darkness, so that you cannot see,
and a flood of water covers you.
12 “Is not God high in the heavens?
See the highest stars, how lofty they are!
13 But you say, ‘What does God know?
Can he judge through the deep darkness?
14 Thick clouds veil him, so that he does not see,
and he walks on the vault of heaven.’
15 Will you keep to the old way
that wicked men have trod?
16 They were snatched away before their time;
their foundation was washed away.
17 They said to God, ‘Depart from us,’
and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’
18 Yet he filled their houses with good things—
but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
19 The righteous see it and are glad;
the innocent one mocks at them,
20 saying, ‘Surely our adversaries are cut off,
and what they left the fire has consumed.’
21 “Agree with God, and be at peace;
thereby good will come to you.
22 Receive instruction from his mouth,
and lay up his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty you will be built up;
if you remove injustice far from your tents,
24 if you lay gold in the dust,
and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent-bed,
25 then the Almighty will be your gold
and your precious silver.
26 For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty
and lift up your face to God.
27 You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you,
and you will pay your vows.
28 You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,
and light will shine on your ways.
29 For when they are humbled you say, ‘It is because of pride’;
but he saves the lowly.
30 He delivers even the one who is not innocent,
who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”
“If you return to the Almighty you will be built up; if you remove injustice far from your tents…” (Job 22:23)
If Job had strayed from the Lord, this would have been good advice to return to the Almighty. But Job didn’t stray from the Lord. It’s tempting to read through Job and his friends’ dialogue, think it’s redundant, and walk away without really getting anything out of it. Yet, every word of the Bible is the inspired Word of God; therefore, God has a purpose for including every chapter in the Bible. Perhaps this is a lesson of what not to do. This wrong advice that Job’s friends are persistent on giving stresses how important it is to “watch your life and doctrine closely”, as I Timothy 4:16 states. We are called to learn the Word of God so when we are asked for help, we will be able to speak wisdom from God’s Word instead of coming up with answers on our own.